China is the most prolific patent filing country in the world and has now become a hotspot for patent litigation too. Accordingly, the Xi administration has placed an increased emphasis on intangible rights in an attempt to – as laid out in the 13th five-year plan for China’s development for the period ending in 2020 – “accelerate the construction of an IP powerhouse”. One of the most significant developments has been the establishment and expansion of specialised IP courts. Handing down larger damages awards and easing access to preliminary injunctions – often in disputes solely between foreign litigants – the dedicated IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have proved their worth since their creation in 2014; in 2017 new IP tribunals were set up in no fewer than 10 cities.
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